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6 Secrets on Winning the War For Talent in 2021

​The phrase “War For Talent” was first coined in 1997 by Steven Hankin and it relates to the ability for businesses to attract, develop, and retain talent.

Fast forward 24 years and winning the war for talent has never been more important; after a challenging period for workers in 2020, it’s expected that between 26% and 40% of employees are looking to change roles during 2021.

If this comes into fruition, HR departments up and down the country will be extremely busy. Businesses are always on the hunt to recruit and retain the very best talent so by following our 6 secrets on winning the war for talent, you will already be one step ahead of your competition.

Be a business where people want to work

Think about your local area and you could probably list the ‘best companies’ to work for without doing a Google search.

This is because they have built a reputation as being a great employer which is one of the most important things your business can do.

In order for your business to thrive, you need great people in the right roles; by making your company an attractive place to work, you’re already halfway there.

Studies show that 75% of jobseekers will place consideration on the employer's brand before they will take the time to apply for a position.

This means that your online footprint, and the story it tells, is critically important. Do you have testimonials of happy employees on your website? Are your social media accounts positive and upbeat? Do your Glassdoor reviews paint a good picture? Do you win awards for excellence?

If your employer brand is poor or none existent, you might find that you are not attracting the level of talent which you are hoping for.

We would recommend working on your employer brand as a matter of priority to market your business as an attractive place to work.

Defining your values and explaining what it’s like to work there will help jobseekers better match themselves to your job vacancies.

Give the people what they want

For some professionals, money isn’t the be all and end all; perks and benefits are equally as important.

Before you dive in to offer perks and incentives which ‘you’ think your employees want, take the time to actually ask them what they would appreciate.

A pet friendly office, an office creche, flexible working, early finish Fridays, free gym membership are all ways which could make your company a desirable place to work.

Not only will it help you to attract new talent, it will help you to retain your existing staff.

Some professionals view career progression as the single most important thing which they are looking for.

Employers can often forget that people aren’t willing to wait years to move up the corporate ladder and that employees will leave if their needs are fundamentally not being met.

When trying to attract new talent, include personalised information on the opportunities available to progress within the business.

Offer flexible working

The Covid-19 pandemic meant that remote working became ‘the norm’ for millions of UK professionals.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 25.9% of people worked from home in 2020, compared to just 12.4% in 2019.

For many, the flexibility and freedom of remote working was a huge benefit, a benefit that some professionals are now reluctant to give up.

The Hybrid Workplace Report 2021 found that 60% of employees want to maintain a flexible work schedule post pandemic.

With the government now dropping their advice to work from home where you can, it has left businesses wondering what working patterns they should offer in order to keep their existing employees happy and to attract new talent.

Businesses who typically struggle to attract top talent could hugely benefit from adopting a remote or flexible working model, particularly attracting professionals who have to care for children or elderly relatives alongside balancing their career.

Recognise where you’re going wrong

No company is perfect and it never will be; however, you can do your best to develop critical awareness of what professionals like and dislike about working for you.

By acknowledging your limitations, you can put strategies in place to eliminate some of the most common bugbears.

For example, if 80% of your workforce complain about Zoom fatigue, you could look into alternative ways for teams to communicate or put a limit on the number of virtual meetings which an employee can attend in one day.

By ignoring your shortcomings, you will continue to let top talent slip through your fingers; retaining talent is one of the clearest returns on investment which a business can make.

Aside from having to constantly recruit and train new employees, it will also be an extremely expensive process.

According to Glassdoor, the average cost of recruiting a new employee in the UK is £3,000 which is a huge concern, particularly if you have a large workforce.

Act fast

With so many companies searching and competing for top talent, acting quickly is one strategy which is utilised by savvy hiring managers - when interviewers ask candidates if they have any other interviews lined up during an interview, they’re asking for a reason; they’re trying to gauge how quickly they need to make a decision before another company snaps the candidate up.

Long and elaborate recruitment processes could mean that you lose out in the race for talent; if you’re trying to make a candidate jump through hoops for a position, they might accept a position at another company during this period.

With more interviews being held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the whole interview process has become a lot easier for candidates.

A candidate may have multiple virtual interviews lined up these days as opposed to a few in person interviews which they may have had pre-pandemic.

Use a reputable recruitment agency

Sometimes a role is just difficult to fill; difficult or rural locations, time sensitive hires, the necessity for a very specific skill set or the need for multiple hires can add to what is already a very challenging search.

In these circumstances, a more robust and thorough recruitment process is absolutely essential, particularly if the role is critical to the success of the business.

As a starting point, we would advise that you reach out to a reputable recruitment agency which specialises in your industry.

By opening a dialogue, you will be able to discover how their search processes differ from your own and whether this is a route which you should go down.

Ask for case studies or testimonials to see if the agency has experienced success within this area with another client, this will give you confidence that the agency knows what they are doing and can be trusted to deliver for you.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Formed in 2017, we're a multi-sector recruitment agency, specialising in a range of key disciplines within both the public and private sectors.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we are passionate about what we do and love watching our clients and candidates grow from strength to strength.

We currently specialise in 8 sectors:

  • Accountancy & Finance

  • Construction & Trades

  • Corporate Functions

  • Education & SEND

  • Health & Social Care

  • Housing

  • Interim & Executive

  • Technical & Engineering ​

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?

One of our Recruitment Consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you.

Alternatively, you can discover more here or submit your vacancy by visiting here.